**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q2 2014.**
Distributor Westcon Group said on Thursday it has purchased the assets of Verecloud Inc., developer of a channel-focused aggregation and brokerage platform for cloud services.
Westcon Group will use Verecloud as the basis for its cloud distribution strategy, enabling VARs to generate recurring revenue from services. Indeed, the acquisition puts Westcon Group in league with the likes of marketplaces such as SaaSMAX, ComputeNext and VAR Dynamics. To that point, Verecloud offers access to a range of vendors including PGi, Microsoft, FiberLink, Mozy, IBM and more.
Verecloud will join Westcon Group’s Cloud Solutions Practice, which will be led by John McCawley, who was CEO of Verecloud.
“Weston Group and Verecloud have been working together during the past 18 months and co-developed a truly differentiated cloud go-to-market capability for the channel," said Dolph Westerbos, Westcon Group CEO, in a press release. “Our services distribution solution sets us apart from the industry, hence we decided to ‘in-source’ that intellectual property through this acquisition. Coupling our channel cloud enablement services with Verecloud’s acquisition will position Westcon Group Cloud Solutions to drive the business models of tomorrow."
This way, VARs can deliver cloud services without having to deal with micro-transaction billing, service level monitoring, up- and cross-selling, and so on, Westcon Group said. Instead, partners can focus on bolstering their cloud practices in more productive ways, including white-labeling Web stores. In turn, Westcon Group will, over the coming year, provide the following partner enablement:
- Billing-as-a-service so resellers may bill for usage-based micro-transactions;
- Up- and cross-selling capabilities;
- Marketing and campaign management;
- Legal contract creation services;
- Contract renewal/subscription management;
- Sales enablement and training, including a cloud transformation playbook;
- ROI analysis; and
- Technical support for cloud services, migration, implementation and SLA management, including training of reseller’s technical staff.
“Cloud has the potential for vendors to work directly with end customers, and for resellers to broaden their service solutions," Westerbos added. “But practical obstacles such as fulfillment, billing and monitoring – as well as a lack of channel enablement services – have prevented the new IT consumption business models from fully taking off. Westcon Group Cloud Solutions is building the go-to-market blueprint for IT-as-a-Service."